Kloppenberg has written a forthcoming book called Reading Obama: Dreams, Hopes, and the American Political Tradition, which purports to be an intellectual history of the Great Man. Kloppenberg considers Obama to be a true intellectual -- a kind of philosopher president, that rare breed found only a handful of times in American history. The only other examples, he says, are John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Quincy Adams, Abraham Lincoln, and Woodrow Wilson.
The flames from Greece s debt-crisis protests have cast new light on the perils of our own overspending and overborrowing. You know the litany. California is imploding. Public-sector unions there, and across the country, are swallowing budgets. In California alone, pension costs have gone up 2,000 percent in a decade. At the national level, Obamacare has done little to fix - and much to hurt - America s long-term entitlement mess. Already, America s structural deficit has tripled since 2007. Economist Price Fishback has just published a paper finding that America spends more on social welfare than socialist Sweden (though we spend it differently).